Pay cuts, job losses - Organise the Fightback

Date:

As soon as possible we need a unified day of strike action across the entire public sector to demand withdrawal of this pay cut. One day of strike action is unlikely to be enough to force a change of government policy. So this needs to be followed up with an ongoing campaign of strike action. Join us for the march on Saturday at the Parnell monument from 1.30.We didn’t cause the Crisis. We shouldn’t have to pay for it.
Workers in Ireland are under attack. We are told by politicians that we have to ‘share the pain’. But during the years of the Celtic Tiger, they didn’t suggest that we should ‘share the wealth’. Obscene amounts of money have been made by property developers and bankers in recent years. But now we’re being made to pay for the crisis.

Marching Is Not Enough - Strike Action Now
We don’t have to accept this. We have the power to force a change of policy. A campaign of strike action when we use our trade union muscle to shut down our workplaces will show our strength and show that we mean business.

As soon as possible we need a unified day of strike action across the entire public sector to demand withdrawal of this pay cut. One day of strike action is unlikely to be enough to force a change of government policy. So this needs to be followed up with an ongoing campaign of strike action. For instance this could consist of one day’s action across the public sector one week, followed by two days the following week, three days the week after.

Whatever we choose to do, we need to discuss and work out a strategy to win. Trade union leaders have sold us the myth of ‘social partnership’ for more than 20 years. But we need to build a new sense of partnership and solidarity whereby workers across all unions support each other to build this successful action.

The government will be happy enough if all we do is have protest marches and issue angry press statements. Let’s take the next step. We can win.

Where can the money come from?
They say there is no money, how about the following:
The richest 1% own €100 billion(1)
€8 billion given in property tax incentives
€103 million given to private schools every year
€8 billion in tax breaks for building private hospitals
€9.5 billion of potential gas reserves given to Shell in Rossport

Fighting Back
Strike action is the way for us to show the government we are serious. That strike action needs to be built across the public sector and in solidarity with private sector workers whose jobs and conditions are under attack.

That solidarity needs to be built at grassroots level. We cannot trust the leadership of the Irish Congress of Trade Unions. When they went into talks with the government on the ‘Framework Agreement’, they accepted the need for cuts. At a meeting of public service trade unionists last weekend it emerged that it was ICTU themselves who proposed the ‘pension levy’. When the government proposed a pay cut of 10%, the ICTU delegation proposed the ‘pension levy’ as being more sellable. (2)

These people cannot be trusted. Taking back control of OUR unions is part and parcel of the fight to protect what we have won over the years.

Capitalism is failing us. Anarchism is fighting back
Capitalism is yet again dragging us all into a crisis not of our making. This crisis is deep and the recession is likely to last for several years. But this is nothing new. Capitalism is and has always been unstable.

This leaflet is produced by Workers Solidarity Movement, a group of anarchists in Ireland who are involved in our trade unions and community organisations in helping to organise a fightback and in discussing how we can begin to build a new society.

If you want to find out more about real alternatives why not visit our website http://www.wsm.ie or come along to the meeting advertised below and join in that discussion.

(1) Bank of Ireland ‘Wealth of the Nation’ Report, July 2007
(2) For the full details on this see http://www.indymedia.ie/article/91139

Organising The Fightback

As part of the 4th annual Dublin Anarchist Bookfair, WSM hosts a discussion on how workers should respond to the government attacks on us. Speakers will include a Waterford Crystal worker, Denis Keane (Executive member Civil and Public Services Union), Julian Brophy (Free Education for Everyone) - all in personal capacity - and a speaker from Workers Solidarity Movement.
Liberty Hall, Dublin, 3p.m. Saturday 7th March
The Dublin Anarchist Bookfair is a day of bookstalls, workshops and discussions. For full details see http://www.wsm.ie/bookfair

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